City and county representatives highlighted the opening of new businesses, economic diversity and area achievements during the Feb. 6 Greater Tehachapi Economic Development Council meeting.

Tehachapi City Manager Greg Garrett presented the 2018 Annual Review, highlighting the city's achievements from the past year.

Moments that mattered included:

  • Walmart breaking ground
  • The new Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley hospital opening
  • City Council adopting voting by district for city council members
  • A Tehachapi Municipal Airport Hangar and Inspection Policy is set to be approved this year
  • Red Apple Pavilion was approved
  • Economic development increasing with social media and community videos

“We want quality of life first and everything else is second," Garrett said. "People continue to invest in our town because of that and they move here, quite frankly, because they enjoy that dynamic that we have created together.”

Garrett thanked the the Greater Tehachapi Economic Development Council for its $5,000 donation toward Christmas decorations for the city.

This is in addition to $5,000 for decorations given by local nonprofit Main Street Tehachapi, which was announced at a previous City Council meeting.

East Kern update

A representative of Kern County Second District Supervisor Zack Scrivner highlighted economic development efforts in East Kern. They were presented by Michael Clark, field representative for the supervisor.

• The county has been an active participant in all five Base Realignment and Closure, or BRAC, rounds (1988, 1991, 1993, 1995 and 2005) including supporting both the China Lake Alliance and the Edwards Community Alliance.

• In 2009, Kern County, along with KEDC and members of a number of East Kern communities, formed the East Kern Economic Alliance to create a strategic marketing and branding campaign to promote the region’s diverse industries such as aerospace and defense; energy and natural resources; and transportation and logistics. This coordinated effort also serves to support the growth of emerging industries such as healthcare services and start-up activities.

• Kern County has become the largest producer of renewable energy in the state due to investments in East Kern County. These renewable energy projects have created hundreds of construction jobs and have also created hundreds of permanent jobs.

• In 2013, the county established RENEWBIZ to support community development. Between 2013 and 2017, the county awarded just over $895,000 in RENEWBIZ grants for 121 projects in East Kern. Grants will be offered again this year.

• The county received $450,000 in federal funding through the Office of Economic Adjustment, Department of Defense to fund an economic diversification study and the county has received a second round of funding from OEA DOD for approximately $800,000 to assist with implementation.

• Scrivner and the county’s Planning Department have worked with unincorporated communities in East Kern to develop Community Visioning Plans for Old Town Tehachapi, Rosamond, Mojave and Boron.